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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: Jack's Love
By Linda Roth


Itís been twelve years - yet such a short time. I knew the moment our gaze met that Jack and I were meant for each other. I loved the uniqueness of his prominent eyes, between yellow and blue in the spectrum of colors. I liked the way he looked in black.

Compared with those around him, he was withdrawn. There were long, stiff, bristly hairs growing about his mouth. Inwardly I chucked. He was a little unkempt. But his eyes spoke to me. Those eyes. I think they showed that in that crowd of people, he wanted to be my friend. I wanted to reach out and touch his life and bring him some happiness if I could.

It didnít take long for our friendship to advance to that level. Only it was Jack who was there for me.

The night I broke my leg and missed graduation exercises, it was Jack beside me. Understanding. Never complaining.

We were alone. The TV provided the only light, yet neither of us watched the programs. The noise helped drown the pain.

There was fresh popcorn, but even its aroma couldnít entice us to eat it. Jack was content in the darkened room - full of battered mahogany furniture. He wasnít the type that cared about worldly possessions. He only wanted love. He leaned against me, easing the ache in my heart and the throbs in my leg with the warmth of his presence. Neither of us made a sound, except for my occasional moans when I tried to move.

A year later with rays of sunshine flooding the kitchen, Jack and I finished a midmorning snack. I had my usual freshly-squeezed orange juice; he had warmed milk. He was there when the phone call came. I shouted my news to him.

I was going on a month-long cruise with one of my girl friends, Marilyn! Her dad was paying the way. Jack didnít speak a discouraging word as I told him of my soon departure.

In my excitement I assured him my new white sun dress, trimmed with red buttons, would be perfect for the trip. I ran to get it. Holding it in front of me, my arms outstretched, flying around the room, I almost tripped over Jack. I barely noticed when he did rushed out.

I meant to surprise him when I came back to town. He didnít know when to expect me. Had our separation been hard on him?

But his loneliness would soon be forgotten in his pleasure of being in my arms again. And his devotion would be obvious, vocal, soothing to my ear.

There was so much to share, and Jack would be eager to hear me talk. I knew him well. He would listen without interruption.

Mother was the one to break the news. There was an accident while I was gone.

As I stand by his grave side I say, ďGood-bye my love, my catĒ.

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This article has been read 636 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/02/07
I don't know why I didn't see that coming! Well done, and upon a second reading, you definitely played "fair" with your readers.

A few minor grammatical errors to tweak, and I think the last line could be strengthened...

...but I really appreciated what you did here! And if true, my heart goes out to you.
Cherie Millsap08/02/07
They do crawl in to our hearts don't they! Nice twist!
Anne Linington08/03/07
Excellently written- half-anticipated the ending, but I was thinking canine. Well done.
Brenda Welc08/06/07
As the owner of 4 cute kitties my heart went out to you! I was surly surprised a the ending, I never guessed who Jack was! Well done.
Jacquelyn Horne08/24/07
Yes, this was very sad. I'm glad I got to read this. We take so much for granted. Good writing.
Janice Cartwright11/05/07
Our very favorite of all our cats was named Jack. He also came to a bad end. You certainly did a good job of bringing out the emotion of sadness in this story.